Poland will not consider defender Maciej Rybus for selection at this year’s World Cup after he joined Russian club Spartak Moscow.
Rybus, 32, has been capped 66 times by his nation but has not been involved in the international setup this year. He has made the transfer to Spartak from their Russian capital rivals Lokomotiv Moscow, where he had spent five seasons.
Poland is a staunch ally of Ukraine, which was invaded by Vladimir Putin ’s Russia in February to commence a devastating war in eastern Europe has raged ever since. The south-east of Poland shares a land border with the north-west of Ukraine, and Poland has taken in more than 3.5 million Ukrainian refugees in the last four months.
Poland refused to face Russia in their World Cup play-off semi-final that was scheduled for March. After FIFA decided to disqualify Russia, the Poles instead received a bye to face Sweden in the play-off final, which they duly won to clinch their place in the finals.
Poland are due to play Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Argentina in the group stage of the World Cup, which kicks off on 21 November in Qatar. However, the national setup have confirmed that experienced full-back Rybus will not be involved in their setup following his transfer.
Rybus has represented Poland at Euro 2012 and the 2018 World Cup since making his debut for the national team in 2009, but he will not be adding a third major tournament to his CV.
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The Polish FA have said in a statement: “The coach of the Polish national team, Czeslaw Michniewicz, talked to Maciej Rybus, who was currently staying in Poland, after the training camp of the national team ended last week. The coach informed the player that due to his current club situation, he would not be called up for the September training camp of the national team and would not be considered for the team that would go to the World Cup in Qatar.”
Fellow Poland internationals Grzegorz Krychowiak and Sebastian Szymanski are also contracted to Russian clubs, Krasnodar and Dynamo Moscow respectively, but it is anticipated that both will depart this summer and be available for selection for the international setup.
Russian clubs have also been banned from competing in European club tournaments, with Spartak Moscow ejected from last season’s Europa League having qualified for the Round of 16 stage having topped a group including Leicester City and Napoli.